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BMW and Chrysler signed contract for TRITEC Joint Venture Engine Plant in Brazil

Chrysler Corporation , Curitiba, Brazil, April 14, 1998 -- BMW AG and Chrysler Corporation today broke ground for their new joint venture engine facility in Brazil. The two automakers' $500 million joint venture company, named Tritec Motors Ltda., will produce 1.4- and 1.6-liter displacement engines at the new facility for export to global markets. James Bonini is named Tritec's Director of Technical Operations.

The new plant, which will have the capacity to produce up to 400,000 engines per year, will occupy a 40,000 square meter (430,556 square feet) site near the town of Campo Largo, in the state of Parana in southern Brazil. The building should be completed in early 1999, with machinery and equipment moved in throughout 1999 and the first six months of 2000. The first engines will be produced in the second half of 2000, beginning with the 1.6-liter version. Final staffing requirements have to be made, but the plant is expected to employ between 500 to 1,000 people when it reaches full capacity.

The new Tritec 1.4- and 1.6-liter gasoline engines will be highly fuel efficient and produce very low emissions in accordance with European and other strict emissions standards. Initial product plans for the 1.6-liter engine include the next generation of Chrysler's Neon sedans for international markets and the New Mini to be built in Great Britain by the Rover Group, a subsidiary of BMW.

Both BMW and Chrysler are expanding their operations in Brazil. Chrysler launched import sales in Brazil in 1996 and will start production of the Dodge Dakota pick-up truck at its new plant, also located in Campo Largo, this July. Last year it sold 10,217 vehicles in Brazil and expects to sell 18,000 units in 1998.
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